JOURNAL OF SOFTWARE (JSW)
ISSN : 1796-217X
Volume : 4    Issue : 2    Date : April 2009

Applying IRT to Estimate Learning Ability and K-means Clustering in Web based Learning
Wen-Chih Chang and Hsuan-Che Yang
Page(s): 167-174
Full Text:
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Abstract
E-learning provides a convenient and efficient way for learning and enriching people’s lives. But
there is no appropriate way to estimate and diagnose people when they learning with e-learning
environment/system. For learning ability estimation issue, Item Response Theory which plays an
important role in modern mental test theory is applied. Besides, K-means clustering method is also
applied to cluster learner’s ability for remedying courses or enhancing courses. We integrate these
two theories and propose a combination methodology to solve the estimation and diagnostic
issues in e-learning environment. A web-based assist system is provided as well. Experimental
data is collected with forty sophomore students studying “Business Data Communication” class at
Dept. of Information Management in Chung Hua University in Taiwan. We illustrated the method to
observe and estimate the variation of learner’s ability. This methodology and system could make
some valuable contribution in e-learning related study and society.

Index Terms
E-learning, K-means cluster, Item Response Theory, Learner Ability, Assessment